There are a number of educational toys for young children that are designed to encourage problem solving, creative play, social interaction and language development. It can be difficult to know what toys are best for the specific skill you want to work on with your child, so if you have a toddler who needs some encouragement to start talking or using language to express their needs and wants, here are three early learning toys that can help with language development:
A little container of bubbles with a wand your child can blow on doesn't sound like an educational toy, but despite the lack of flashing lights and noises, old-fashioned bubbles are a great way to encourage young children to talk. You can show the child how to blow into the hole on the wand to create their own bubbles, and learning to imitate the way you use your mouth can help them learn how to copy your mouth movements to start saying simple words.
There are also a number of basic, yet useful, words you can repeat to your child as you play together with the bubbles, such as 'more', 'please', 'blow' and 'wet', and your child will be able to connect the actions of playing with the bubbles to the words, which can help them make sense of the language you are using.
Wind-up toys are fun and engaging for toddlers, particularly if you choose animal-themed ones they can recognise from their books. Young children can find it difficult to use these toys independently, as they likely won't have the fine motor skills required to wind them up, and this is where they become useful for encouraging them to talk.
You can work with your child to replace non-verbal displays of frustration with being able to ask for help, and toddlers can feel motivated to start asking for help if there's a fun pay-off. You can also use these little toys to focus on easy words, such as 'go' and 'again'.
Musical Shape Sorter
A musical shape sorter is a good option for busy toddlers who don't like to sit down and play with any single toy. The reward of hearing a fun tune when a shape is correctly matched can grab their attention and encourage them to work with you for short periods.
This toy can help your child make sense of positional words, such as 'in' and 'out', and you can begin to teach them primary colours or shapes by asking them to find specific pieces for the shape sorter. As your child's understanding of receptive language grows and they're able to point out the blue square, you can start asking them to repeat back the colour of the square.
These are just a few examples of early learning toys that can be used to encourage toddlers to talk. As is the case when teaching a young child any new skill, make the activity fun, remain patient and praise their successes.
For more information, contact local professionals like those found at Hopskotch Kindergarten.